AP Bio or AP Physics?

Discussion in 'Community' started by goodtimes5, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    Senior year: the science world opens up.

    Should I take AP Bio or AP Physics? I heard that physics is hard to understand, but that biology is a lot of hard memorization. (I will be taking AP Calculus AB.)

    Which subject will assist me most in the future?

    Moreover, the biology teacher is incompetent, but the physics teacher is the best in the school.

    Quick replies please - decision due tomorrow.
  2. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    The decsion is really for which subject you like more or will use more later on. However, if it were me, I would choose Physics. Reason--the teacher is what will make you succeed or fail in an AP class. That is just my opinion... :)
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    From my experiences as both an engineering student and a medical student, biology is easier but physics is more useful. Of course, that's going by IB standards.
  4. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    go with the better teacher ....

    are you majoring in a science ... do you need to take a science? I mean Is there another ap or honors class your interested in more ? If you've got an open spot don't close doors on other classes ....

    neither will probably be that valuable because it seems like in sciences you end up either repeating them or going much beyond your HS ap classes but then again i've never taken a serious science in college and don't plan too
  5. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    If you are taking AP classes, they only do you good by getting you out of intro courses in college. So, if you are thinking bio or pre-med, the AP physics could let you avoid taking intro physics (usually required for bio majors) and get started on bio courses sooner.

    If you are leaning towards physics as a potential major, then you could jump to higher level classes right away. Because the intro Bio courses are often used to weed out students, it may be harder to not take the intro bio series at college.

    The only downside is that intro physics in a college will often have really great experimental demos that a high school can't pull off.

    If you don't know what your major may be, go with the good teacher.
  6. goodtimes5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    It seems to me that physics seems to be the logical choice, with the better teacher and it fulfills introductory physics for fledging-doctors or fledging-physicists.
  7. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    Well it depends on your major.

    Saddly if you are going to do engineering I would recomend physic but it will not AP you out of the the physic requirement for an engineering student since if I remeber correctly AP only gets you out of the trig based one but not the cal based physic engineerins students have to take. Very few high school even offer that physic and it takes 2 years of in HS to get though it. But taking it will make taking it in collages a lot eaiser.

    The infomation on the APing of it comes from my engineering friends who took the AP test and got a 4 or a 5 on it but it did not get them out of phys 1408 (cal based) it was only good for phys 1401 so they where joining me in phys 1408. Not an easy class by any stretch. Of the 6 or 7 of in there all we had 1 A and the rest B. I was the only one in the group who did not take AP phys in HS. We lived off of our homework and lab grades (whcih was 40% of the final grade).

    Depends on you major. If you majors goign to require phys take the phys one. You prouble have to retake in in collage but it will make it a hekc of a lot eaiser.
  8. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA

    AP Physics was very possibly my favorite class in high school. Great teacher, and I learned a lot that I am still applying today. Engineering students at Northwestern have to take 3 basic physics classes, 135-1, 135-2, and 135-3. My 5 on the AP exam got me out of the first 2. The third class involved primarily optics, relativity, and quantum mechanics, which we didn't get into much in AP.
  9. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I don't know how it is in your school, but in my school, AP Bio was way more work than AP Physics. AP Bio had tons of labs and projects and all that and AP Physics just had problem sets. I would go for the better teacher. The only reason AP Physics was so great was because of the teacher. Ask other people who have taken the classes at your school. And if it comes down that the teachers and work are about the same, I would go with physics. It's a lot more interesting (to me, at least), and more practical.
  10. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    if bio intrests you more than go with that, or visa versa

    however, based on what you say, and if these were my only two choices i would go with physics, simply because it seems more useful, interesting, and has a better teacher, by my standards and from what you have said
  11. Vector macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2002
    If you are not planning on going into a science related field, then choose the easier one - AP Bio in my experience. I took AP Bio in high school and it was pretty easy especially compared to AP Physics. The AP physics course was probably the most difficult class in our school and we had nearly every AP class available. I was in AP Calc BC with AP Physics students and they hated it. The AP test isn't difficult, but there is a lot of memorization involved.

    I was not going to use either of them later in life and was just taking it to get some general education college credits out of the way.
  12. Balin64 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    In a Mauve Dream
    I was in the same Boat in HS

    If you are taking AB Calculus while taking either of your choices, take Bio. This is why: The Physics will require you to have a basic knowledge of Calculus right away: as in taking derivatives and integrals to solve problems of distance, velocity and accelaration (in a nutshell). I found taht I had to teach myself the first chapters of the Calculus book in order to do my Physics work; while it gave me an advantage in the Calculus class, it made my first semester in Physics pretty difficult: not to mention we had a bad teacher for the Physics. Go with the better teacher as well in making your decision: remember, if you don't pass the AP test, it will be very disappointing: that's the point after all, isn't it?
  13. tpjunkie macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    I took both of those classes in high school, AP Phyics C (I, I didn't get around to II) junior year and AP Bio senior year. For Physics (The 2 year, two test C one anyway) you do need some basic differential calculus (very basic, as in knowing the power rule). I got a C in the course (very tough teacher) but a 4 on the AP test, and got to skip out on (and got credit for) the intro mechanics physics course in college. AP Bio I enjoyed more (I'm a Bio major) and I got an A in the course, and a 5 on the test, and got credit for intro bio at college. It really comes down to what you're going to do, and which interests you more, although if you're gonna be pre med, you're gonna need to take the physics at some point anyway.
  14. vouder17 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2003
    You did IB!!! Same here. Well from IB standards, ok i did both Bio and Physics at higher level and they are both hard. Bio is alot to learn, but it is interesting if you like that kinda stuff. Physics you have to understand it or else you wont get anywhere.. But what it boils down to, is which is more useful for you.

  15. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    AP Physics is more challenging than AP Bio, but more universities accept the credit (mine doesn't accept bio at all) and it will look better on your transcript when applying.
  16. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Well if you are doing any KIND of engineering, AP Physics. Trust me, you want to see this at least once before you get a blast of it in your face in college.

    I did B,B (final grade B) for Honors Physics in High school. Then, an embarassing C,C (final grade C) in AP Physics.

    On the flip side, I aced PHYS161, one of those weeder 200-300 student lecture-sized Physics course for Engineers. Doing physics for 2 years in a row does that to you-it gets you ready. Even though I was terrible in high school, practice makes perfect rite?
  17. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Well, I'm a junior in high school right now. I took a term of AP Bio and hated it. The teacher was great, but I just wasn't interested in the subject. I actually just took my AP Calc final today, we got all the way through BC material, even though it's an AB class. I'm taking AP physics next year.
    I really think you should go where your interest lies. Otherwise you'll hate it.
  18. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    Since you've probably chosen, this won't do you any good. I say take the class that you HATE the most. You can always use a college science credit (for core or distribution) no matter what major you are. Believe me, AP classes in high school are much easier than the equivalent college course. This isn't necessarily due to content or class structure, but also because you will have a lot more going on, a lot of acclimation during your first semester, and many courses are
    "weed out" courses for the whining pre-meds (you'll have fun meeting them, I'm sure they exist on most every campus).

    If you enjoy and are good at a subject, chances are you will get the A in the class, and that helps your GPA down the line if you fudge up, say in Material Science Lab or Analytical Chem :rolleyes: . Of all the AP credits I had going into college, I only used English because I hated it so much and didn't want to take it again. I just went ahead and took the other classes, had an easy time and got A's. This helped me to graduate with a pretty high GPA and have a *really* good time my Freshman year while having a 4.0.

    Just my .02

    Edit: No offense if you are pre-med. Just don't whine all the time and you'll do fine. Take biochem and organic chem right before the MCAT and it will help a lot in the science sections (they help you think about the problems, I found).

  19. jimsowden macrumors 68000


    Sep 6, 2003
    Senior? All of those are junior classes at my school.
  20. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Lol, something about this makes me chuckle though. I'll agree, in my school AP Chem/Bio/US Hist/Pscyh were sophmore or junior classes. Especially starting in 2001, freshmen came in literally skipping 2 grades so there were actually in my AP Calc class -_-.

    Then, of course, senior year they're taking classes at the local community college, so they graduate with literally 12-15 of college credit, in addition to APs (which can account for another 12-15). Unfair? Yeah, but I have a feeling this is all too common nowadays.
  21. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Are we talking about AP Physics B or AP Physics C?

    I took B my junior year (and got a 4) and C my senior year (and got a couple 4s for mechanics and e&m). I thought they were quite fun. I had taken an intro to Physics my freshmen year and both Chemistry and Biology my sophomore year (my school let us take what ever we wanted, so I took a lot of science and math).

    I would think that if you are in AP Calculus AB, then either B or C would be fine to take (though it would help to have already completed Calculus AB first before Physic C).

    Of course I wasn't that good at Biology (or that interested in it), so taken AP Biology never even crossed my mind. :rolleyes:
  22. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    funny thing is a bunch of my friends decided they'd do that with calc, well a 5 hour course that had much more work and required much more time than they had expected.
  23. mlw1235 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ugh...Bio or Physics??

    I would be taking neither.

    And is your school on the block? You COULD always take both, while it probably is not the best thing.

    All this jazz about Calc, yeah, I have 4 sections left in the BC curriculum. Cursed Polar cooridnates. Anyway, what ever you choose, make sure that you devote lots of time to do well in it, I think that is the key to AP, lots and lots of time to learn it (and ask questions of a semi-good teacher)
  24. goodtimes5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    It's just that as a freshman, they gave me art first instead of science so I'm a year behind in science.
  25. goodtimes5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    I picked Bio.

    I do not plan on being an engineer in the future.

    I already plan to take AP English, AP Calculus, AP Gov/Comparitive Gov, AP Macro/Micro-Econ, and Chinese 7 (which is not my native language). I do not want to be bogged down by the hardest class offered in high school.

    ...although I do feel regrets at not being a total AP whore.

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